Simple and tasty beef samosas that are perfect for lunchboxes

These samosas are perfect for packed lunches or picnics

 

I first tasted samosas when I was about eight years old. They’re very child friendly. A warm handheld pastry snack is always welcome but when it has potatoes and a mild curry flavour, it’s just perfect on a cold day. I haven’t made them in years but my little girl spotted Fizzy, from Emye Ethiopian food, making vegan sambusas at our local market in Midleton and she loved them. So I’ve started to make them at home now but have been baking them in the oven. So far I’ve been able to cram all sorts of vegetables in.

This minced beef version is delicious though, with plenty of ginger and a fresh burst of coriander. Complete with filling protein-packed lentils, these samosas are a complete meal in themselves. My recipe is a little mild and family friendly so do add extra spices or chili if you prefer. I usually serve mine with sriracha sauce. You can use finely shredded leftover roast chicken to make chicken pies too or use regular potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes.

You can make the filling mixture the day before if you want and assemble them at the last minute. Folding them can be a bit of a skill but once you start it’s easy. Just keep folding the triangle in towards itself so that each side is sealed and no filling can escape.

Many cultures have their own version of this. From Indian Samosas to Ethiopian or Somali Sambusa. There are also Turkish and many more Middle Eastern versions with cheese and vegetables. It’s a delicious way to serve tasty savoury fillings and perfect for packed lunches or picnics.

Ginger, beef and lentil samosas
Makes 8

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion
1 thumb sized piece of ginger (2 tbsp once grated)
400g minced beef
1 heaped tsp garam masala or similar curry spices
150g sweet potato
400g tin bijoux verts lentils, 240g once drained
20g fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
150ml water
1 pack filo pastry sheets, defrosted
1 tbsp nigella seeds

Melt the coconut oil in a wide pan and add the finely diced onion. Cook on a medium heat for five minutes, add the ginger and stir, moving around the pan for a minute. Add the minced beef and garam masala. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add 150ml water, the finely diced sweet potato and the lentils. Mix well. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked and the mixture has reduced a little and is drier. Remove from the heat. Fold in the chopped coriander, season well with salt then leave to cool. Spread it on a large baking tray to cool it quickly if you’re short on time. 

Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut each long sheet of filo pastry into a long rectangle. Lay one on the countertop and spoon 1/8 of the cooled filling into the top corner. Brush the pastry with water and fold it diagonally to create a triangle shape, continue to fold, retaining the triangle shape and seal the dampened edges. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry till you have made eight. Lay the samosas on two baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 minutes then turn each one over. Brush each one with a little water and sprinkle with nigella seeds and return to the oven for a final 10 minutes till golden and crispy. Leave to cool for five minutes before serving with salad and hummus or yogurt. 

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